March 17, 2011
Senior Lauren Hall started off her final NCAA Swimming Championships with a bang on Thursday as she broke her own school record twice en route to an All-American finish in the 200 IM.
Hall posted the eighth-fastest time in the prelim rounds with a record-breaking swim of 1:57.13 to advance to the Championship Final. She previously broke her own record at the Pac-10 Championships in March with a swim of 1:57.29. In the final, Hall swam even faster and moved up to seventh overall with another record-setting time of 1:56.67. Today's seventh-place showing was the highest NCAA finish of Hall's career. Last year, she placed 17th in the 200 IM.
Hall wasn't the only Bruin with a record-breaking swim on Thursday as senior Sam Vanden Berge broke the 15 year old 500 freestyle record, set by Olympian Annette Salmeen in 1996 (4:42.62). Vanden Berge finished 24th overall with a lifetime-best and new school record of 4:42.50. Also in the 500 free, senior Alex Sullivan finished 41st (4:45.86).
In the 200 IM, junior Bianca Casciari placed 44th (2:01.39). Freshman Cynthia Fascella finished 34th in the 50 free (22.69). The 400 medley relay team of junior Yasi Jahanshahi, senior Brittany Beauchan, Casciari and Fascella finished 20th overall with a time of 3:39.78.
Competition continues on Friday in Austin, TX with Hall's top event, the 400 IM, as well as the 200 medley relay, 100 fly (Jahanshahi, Casciari), 200 free (Fascella, Sullivan, Vanden Berge), 100 breast (Beauchan) and 800 free relay.